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The Tabernas desert: A movie desert

If you are planning to spend a fun-filled holiday in Mojácar, you may at some point consider asking in our hotels about the popular, symbolic and captivating Tabernas Desert in Almería.

Almería desert

The Tabernas desert is one of a kind in Europe. It is without doubt much more than an arid space lacking in vegetation and scarce of rain. In fact, it is the place where a long list of cinematographic productions have taken place throughout several decades. And it is undoubtedly an ideal place to take a detour between long sunbathing sessions on the beaches of Mojácar. It is also perfect to visit with children as it features a Mini Hollywood (Tabernas desert theme park) where you can all have a great time.      


How to get to the Tabernas Desert?

Trek through the Tabernas Desert

This 280 square kilometre natural area is situated approximately 30 kilometres north of Almería and includes the municipalities of Tabernas, Gador, Gérgal, Santa Cruz and Alboloduy.

If you are wondering how to get to the Tabernas Desert from Mojácar, you should take the road to Almería (A-7/ E-15 in the direction of Níjar and Almería). Then leave the motorway in the direction of Sorbas and Tabernas. After crossing through Sorba via its main road, you will begin to see signs for the city of Tabernas and the desert carrying on along the N-340A road.


Movies in Almería

The Tabernas desert represents one of the settings in the south of Spain where more movies have been filmed throughout the last century.

There have been hundreds of movies filmed in Almería. Many producers chose this spectacular desert to make their feature films. Italian and American budget films that portrayed an authentic wild west and absolute blockbusters such as Indiana Jones (which also gave the spectator a glimpse of the most remote settings of their neighbouring continent, without leaving the Almeria desert), chose this exotic place to unfold their plots.

They say that Clint Eastwood was the actor who most set foot on these Andalusian movie settings and studios and it was the director Sergio Leone who mostly took command. It has also been said that the “boom” of this desert faded along with western films, both American and spaghetti westerns. They now only occasionally appear on the billboards, however when they do, they do it big style.

Western films shot in Almería

This desert not only portrayed the wild west, on many occasions it made its own tribute to North Africa, the Sahara, Saudi Arabia and Egypt showing the most exotic side of the cinematographic middle east landcaspes.

Also linked to the movies is the Oasis Mini Hollywood theme park and Fort Bravo. There you will have fun and enjoy (more so if you go with children) the authentic western movie settings, the realistic shows and the movie museum. With the latter, you will be amazed by the historical equippment from the pre-cinema era and a spectacular photographic exhibition.


Sports in the Tabernas Desert

Tabernas Desert in Almería

The popular Almería desert has also been chosen as a backdrop for important, featured sporting events. Significant duathlon races, cyclist groups that savour this most acidic part of the Almería province, major races and motorbike rallies regularly travel through this desert.

However on the other hand, it is one of the most chosen places by hikers from all around.

One of the most popular hiking routes in Almería is known as the desert trail route. It consists of an itinerary of 14 kilometres with a height of 150 metres. The trail also has a reduced version of 9 kilometres. The estimated time for both versions is 5 and 3 hours respectively.  

It is made up of an interesting combination of watercourses and footpaths which will give you the opportunity to enjoy the most popular spots of this spectacular Andalusian natural landscape of unquestionable scenic and geological interest.

Another great option if you like hiking is the wild west route. It is a 22 kilometre route that although is of moderate durability, will prove to be very enjoyable as you will pass through the most cinematographic areas of the desert. Places that were used to set great productions such as Lawrence of Arabia, and The Cóndor will catch your eye and guarantee you have a great time.


Tabernas Castle

Tabernas desert castle

The Tabernas Castle is situated on the outskirts of the town of Tabernas, at the top of a hillock, facing south.  

It is fortress of Muslim origin, built in the XI century during the Arab occupation. It is of nasrid style and on numerous occasions was reformed and empowered by the Christians. Without doubt, it is one of the most frequently visited places by tourists who decide to visit the Tabernas Desert.

The castle is a great place to commemorate part of the Muslim and Christian history. It is said that in 1489 the Catholic monarchs conquered Almería after spending several nights in the city. The mammoth production “Patton’s War” was also filmed at this fortress and during filming, an Arab cemetery was discovered at the foot of the castle.

The monument is divided into two enclosures by a wall with an artillery tower that was built during Christian times: the first enclosure is the actual castle itself while the second enclosure can be found underneath with its renowned necropolis.

Should you decide to visit the Tabernas Castle in Almería, you will enjoy the spectacular scenery and discover part of Spain’s history, marked on this occasion by the struggles between the Muslims and Christians.


We have given you several reasons to encourage you to visit the Tabernas Desert. Its points of tourist attraction speak for themselves and will leave an everlasting impression.

For further information about the Tabernas Desert, you can enquire at the reception desk of our hotels (Hotel Marina Playa and Hotel Marina Mar in Mojácar) where our staff is always at your disposal.

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